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Kefir appears to be bucking the trend that has seen launch activity in drinking yogurts and fermented beverages remain relatively static in recent years. While kefir launch numbers are still limited globally, Innova Market Insights data indicate that they grew more than three-fold between 2011 and 2016. This is despite launches in the overall drinking yogurt/fermented beverages sub-category rising by a much more modest +60%.
“As interest in fermented dairy products spread in the west alongside the arrival of the so-called functional foods market in the 1990s,” reports Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation at Innova Market Insights. “Kefir started to move out of its home in the Caucasus via limited availability in specialist health food stores in western markets to a more value-added, mainstream positioning, particularly in the US,” she adds.
The US pioneered the kefir market in the west and brought value-added options in resealable plastic bottles to the mainstream market. This allowed for more direct competition with other dairy and non-dairy beverages. It accounted for over one-third of global kefir launches in 2016 and beverages featuring kefir accounted for 40% of US drinking yogurt/fermented beverages introductions overall, compared with just over 8% globally. Europe accounted for the bulk of the remainder, led by more traditional markets in Eastern Europe, although launches in Western Europe have grown strongly, but from a very small base.
Kefir is strongly promoted on its healthy properties, particularly with rising interest in fermented foods and beverages overall. All US and nearly 94% of global launches used some kind of health positioning in 2016. There was initial emphasis on probiotics, particularly focusing on digestive health benefits. Even though regulatory issues have made this type of claim more difficult in some parts of the world, digestive health claims were still used for nearly two-thirds of global launches in 2016.
Nearly half of kefir launches use low fat claims and the sector has also not been slow to exploit rising concerns over sugar intake in the diet. The number of global launches positioned on low sugar/no-added-sugar and sugar free positionings double in 2016 to feature in 20% of the total. Organic and lactose free variants are also increasingly common, among kefir launches.
Item last updated: Thursday February 23 2017 05:39
IEA Report Shows That People Prepared To Pay For Convenience Of Food
Contrary to the claims of some health campaigners, it is cheaper to buy healthy and nutritious food than it is to buy processed ‘junk food’.
A new report from the Institute of Economic Affairs uses data from two leading supermarkets to compare the prices of 78 common food and drink products, finding that healthier options are mostly cheaper than less healthy alternatives.
When measured by edible weight, the cheapest ready-meals, pizzas, burgers and sugary breakfast cereals cost more than £2 per kilogram, whereas typical fruit and vegetables cost less than £2 per kilogram. And whilst £1 will buy you one cheeseburger, that same £1 could buy you a kilo of sweet potatoes, two kilos of carrots, two and a half kilos of pasta, ten apples or seven bananas. And the Government’s daily recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables can cost as little as 30p.
The report debunks studies which claim that healthy food is more expensive, finding they use the flawed methodology of comparing food products by their cost-per-calorie. This has the perverse effect of making low-calorie food appear expensive by definition. A better approach is to compare typical servings of food by weight or portion size.
Ultimately price is not the main driver of unhealthy food consumption; often consumers are prepared to pay more for taste and convenience. The popular belief that obesity and poor nutrition are directly driven by economic deprivation is untenable. If the price of food was a primary consideration, people (particularly those on low incomes) would eat more fruit and vegetables. The use of taxes and subsidies to incentivise better nutrition is unlikely to be successful. In practice, these measures would tax the poor and subsidise the rich.
Assumption that the high cost of healthy food causes obesity is flawed: * Obesity has increased rapidly at a time when incomes have risen and food prices have fallen. * Obesity rates are higher in rich countries than in poor countries. * People fail to buy more fruit and vegetables when they become richer. * There is a high rate of obesity among people on middle and high incomes. * The correlation between deprivation and obesity is only seen among women. * Obesity rates among men are highest among middle income earners.
Proposed tax and/or subsidies would be regressive:
There have been calls to bring in taxes or subsidies to encourage people to make healthier food choices, but such measures would be hugely problematic:
* Taxing food would be highly regressive given that food disproportionately consumed by people on low incomes would be taxed in order to subsidise food that is disproportionately consumed by high earners.
* It is doubtful that changes in pricing would have a significant impact on people’s choices given that healthy food is already cheap.
* Subsidising foods would create huge administrative costs given the difficulty classifying each foodstuff would present.
Commenting on the report, author Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:
“A diet of muesli, rice, white meat, fruit and vegetables is much cheaper than a diet of Coco Pops, ready-meals, red meat, sugary drinks and fast food. A wide range of healthy alternatives are available at the same price as the less healthy options.
“The idea that poor nutrition is caused by the high cost of healthy food is simply wrong. People are prepared to pay a premium for taste and convenience.
“A nutritious diet that meets government recommendations is more affordable than ever. Given the relatively high cost of ‘junk food’, it is unlikely that taxing unhealthy food or subsidising healthy food would change people’s eating habits. Instead, it would transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.”
Item last updated: Thursday February 23 2017 05:39
Ready-to-Eat Food Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines ready-to-eat food as animal or plant derived food that is cooked, frozen, washed, cooked for hot holding, cooled, and processed to be consumed directly or after heating. Ready-to-eat food must comply with all USDA guidelines related to processing, washing, drying, cooling, freezing, and packaging. In terms of value, the global ready-to-eat food products market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period (2016-2026) and is estimated to be valued at US$ 195.3 Bn by the end of 2026.
The global ready-to-eat food products market is segmented on the basis of Product Type (Meat/Poultry, Cereal Based, Vegetable Based, Others), Packaging (Canned, Frozen or Chilled, Retort, Others), and Distribution Channel (Hypermarket/Supermarket, Convenience/Departmental Store, Specialty Store, Online Store, Others).
On the basis of product type, the Meat/Poultry segment is projected to account for the largest value share during the forecast period; this segment is estimated to account for 45.7% value share in 2016. In the packaging category, the Frozen or Chilled segment is likely to expand at a CAGR of 8.0% over the forecast period. In the distribution channel category, the Hypermarket/Supermarket segment is estimated to account for the highest value share of 34.3% in 2016 and is expected to gain significant market share by the end of 2026.
Key market drivers and trends
Factors such as increasing population of working women, growing millennial population, busy work schedules, and on-the-go consumption habits are expected to fuel revenue growth of the global ready-to-eat food products market. Also, the increase in disposable income and consumer preferences for healthy and convenient food coupled with the rising demand for snacks and fried food products are expected to further boost the demand for ready-to-eat food products.
Globally, the growth of organised retail has led to a widespread supply of ready-to-eat food products through a wide distribution network. These factors are expected to bolster the growth of the global ready-to-eat food products market in the coming years. However, unhealthy substitutes and low quality and taste along with an increasing shift towards a healthier lifestyle is likely to hinder market growth in the coming years.
Regional market projections
The global ready-to-eat food products market is segmented into seven key regions - North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ), Middle East & Africa (MEA), and Japan.
The APEJ market is likely to contribute a high revenue share to the global ready-to-eat food products market. APEJ is estimated to hold 18.2% value share in 2016 and this is likely to increase to 20.4% by 2026. Among all regions, North America is estimated to represent the highest value share of 40.1% in 2016 and is expected to register a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period. Rise in disposable income coupled with on-the-go lifestyles among the growing population of Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Latin America, and Eastern Europe is expected to drive the growth of the global ready-to-eat food products market.
Ready to eat food products market
Key market players
Nomad Foods Ltd., Bakkavor Foods Ltd., General Mills Inc., McCain Foods, Premier Foods Group Ltd., 2 Sisters Food Group, Greencore Group Plc., Orkla ASA, ConAgra Foods, Inc., and ITC Limited are some of the leading companies operating in the global ready-to-eat food products market.
Consumers today prefer small quantity of ready meals rather than conventional large meals. This has fuelled the demand for bite-sized on-the-go or ready-to-eat meals. This has pushed manufacturers to innovate and develop new ready-to-eat food products, which are better in taste and offer numerous health benefits. Market players are also offering natural and organic ready-to-eat food products with health benefits to woo a rising class of health conscious customers.